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Diversity Enhances Greater Reading, PA’s, Competitive Edge

Diversity plays an important role in recruiting talent in the Greater Reading area.

By Livability on June 24, 2022

Misco in Great Reading PA
Courtesy of Greater Reading Chamber Alliance

Ask someone to describe what makes a city “diverse,” and you’re likely to get all types of answers: Population. Workforce. Great places to live and fun things to do. 

The fourth most populous city in Pennsylvania — it grew by 8% over the last decade, according to the 2021 Mid-Year State of the Economy report — Reading checks all these boxes, and then some. 

Nearly 70% of residents of this manufacturing city identify as Latino, while more than 18% are biracial. 

A variety of affordable homes, from urban and suburban to rural, is available within 15 minutes of each other with prices that are less than half the U.S. average. And five colleges and universities offer a wealth of continuing education opportunities. 

What’s more, the lower-than-average cost of living makes it easier to enjoy Reading’s arts and cultural offerings, sports venues and restaurants. Its outstanding trails, with names like Witches Hat and Neversink Mountain Loop and a coveted IMBA (International Mountain Bicycling Association) Bronze-Level Ride Center designation, are unmatched. 

When it comes to attracting and retaining good employees, diversity is more important than ever, says Aaron Gantz, senior director of economic development at the Greater Reading Chamber Alliance. “It enhances our competitive edge. Everyone succeeds when diversity is part of a culture in an organization.” 

The chamber’s Meet Greater Reading initiative connects employers with the talent they need through easy-to-use online tool kits for both. 

A core program, the Next Gen Industry Partnership brings together manufacturing leaders to help companies share best practices, boost the regional economy and help qualified workers find their dream jobs. 

“The Next Gen Industry Partnership has been instrumental in strengthening our community as we continue to align our workforce and economic development efforts,” says Kristi Gage-Linderman, chief operating officer of Gage Personnel. “With a strong group of leaders and businesses working together to champion a list of top priorities, we are building a stronger and more successful industry outlook for Greater Reading.” 

For more information, visit meetgreaterreading.org.

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